Day 26 (Nanaimo to Vancouver) – Thursday, 4th August

Very little sleep, mainly due to the noise of heavy lorries trundling along the Trans Canada Highway outside the window. Besides, I never sleep well when I know I have to get up early.

Made it out of the hotel room by around 5.40 a.m. in somewhat bleary fashion to drive the two minutes to the ferry terminal. I am so glad we got a hotel so close. Reduced the stress levels considerably. Really not a bad little hotel – spotlessly clean and a remarkably good shower. These things are also important, you know!

Got to the check-in kiosk and showed the bar code on the email confirming the booking. Ticket printed and directed to Lane 14. Phew!

About 15 minutes later, the queue started to move. 5 minutes later we were safely on board.

This appears to be better appointed than the ferry from Tsawwassen to Victoria. A reasonably decent provision of snacks and coffee without it being too crowded, despite the huge number of vehicles on the ferry.

View from ferry as we were docking

The ferry was due to sail at 6.25 a.m. It was a whole minute late departing.

So now we leave Vancouver Island and will now spend the rest of our trip on the North American mainland, until we depart New York on the Queen Mary 2 in early October. It’s generally been a great experience, particularly the Knight Inlet Lodge, but this latest cock-up from Trailfinders has taken the gloss off a bit. Email demanding an apology and compensation duly sent…..

And apology received. That’s a start.

Drove off the ferry at around 8 o’clock and found where we need to drop the car off later. Then made our way to the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel once again where we will be staying one night before our departure on the Rocky Mountaineer tomorrow morning. Like coming home…..

Checked in and, although the room originally allocated to us was still occupied – it was still only 9 a.m. after all – the receptionist offered us a better room for a modest upgrade fee which was gratefully accepted. Parked the car in the official hotel parking area and ascended to the 22nd floor to our room, where our bags had already been delivered. Nice to be able to relax and maybe have a recovery snooze….

Decent view from the room as well.

Later on, I managed to drop the car off without too much stürm und drang, then did something I’ve never done in my life before. I summoned a Uber! How brave is that! I can see the younger generation rolling their eyes…. Great technology, though, and it worked like a charm to get me back to the hotel. Very chatty driver. He got a decent tip.

The next task was to check in for the Rocky Mountaineer tomorrow. One of the appointed venues for this important process (no, I’m not being sarky) was the Pan Pacific Hotel literally just across the road. I thought this would just be a short visit to confirm that we were kosher and pick up some luggage tags. How wrong I was.

Bloody great queue which moved at snail’s pace. Half an hour later we were seen by a jobsworth who seemed only to operate using myriad Post-Its. We were asked for information that I had already submitted online, which took an age to re-enter from my writing on a Post-It.

The baggage tags and boarding passes were produced eventually, airline style, from a couple of EPOS terminals. I was losing the will to live at this point – all this could be done online and the queue behind was getting very restless. So, so slow and such a waste of time.

Then we had to suffer a homily about what we had to do with our tags and where we had to be at 6.50 a.m. tomorrow morning. I already knew this. Apparently there are 761 passengers on this train tomorrow. God help them if they all have to go through this totally unnecessary rigmarole. It took in all a good hour.

As regards checked-in baggage, the Ts&Cs stipulated that we could only check in two pieces (fair enough) totalling in weight no more than 30 kg per person, and the largest piece could not weigh more than 23 kg. I had been spending some time trying to figure out how we might deal with this as we have a LOT of luggage for this long trip. So I (innocently) asked at the end of this “interview” whether the bags got weighed. No, they don’t. Once again, worrying about nothing. Hopefully.

Next, dinner. Being adventurous souls, we went back to the Italian Kitchen restaurant that we’d visited when we were last in Vancouver. Once again, a great meal, but too much pasta in my case. Jean’s lamb was delicious. As was the Sangiovese….

Back to the room and bed. The next two days should be considerably less boring. I hope.

2 responses to “Day 26 (Nanaimo to Vancouver) – Thursday, 4th August”

  1. Really enjoying your blog Chris – thank you for letting us join in. Wendy

    1. You’re more than welcome, Wendy. Please join in whenever you wish. Always great to hear from you. And tell your friends!

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